The Puy de Dôme is a 1465m high peak of the Chaîne des Puys, a volcanic chain near Clermont-Ferrand. It’s also the name of the department.
A train takes you up to the peak from where you have a fantastic view on the region with the other volcanic mountains. It’s really amazing. It only was pretty cold there, 6°C, and very windy! Our friends were there one week later and it was much warmer so that they also saw several hang gliders.
On the top of the mountain are several walking routes (“chemin des pèlerins”, “chemins de conquérants”, and “chemin des curieux”), with plates with explanations in French and English. There are also the remainders of a Roman temple of Mercury from the 2nd century and a little information center (free admission) with information on the temple and its history. Audio guides in various languages are available, you only need to deposit your passport. There are currently efforts to reconstruct the temple. Besides, there’s a restaurant, while at the train station below you only can get some snacks.
La Baraque (D.941), ORCINES, 63870, FR
Good for: Families
At the foot of the Puy de Dôme, there’s a train station from where you can take the train “Panoramique des Dômes” up to the top. Formerly, you could drive up there with your car, this is no longer possible. Instead you either have to take that train, or walk! The train takes the old street on which they’ve put tracks, and with my fear of height I was glad we didn’t have to drive that road with our car, the train journey already was exiting enough for me!
The train journey took about 15 minutes, for a distance of 5 km. It went every 30 minutes in September. Already from the train you have nice views on the landscape, especially the higher the train climbs, but of course the views from the top are the best!
Train return ticket (2012): adults 9,50€, children (4-12 years) 3,80€.
Large free car park next to the train station.